“One pill can kill,” DEA official says when that’s the message behind this year’s Red Ribbon Week

Local News

Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s longest-running drug-abuse prevention campaign.

It’s been honored every year for more than three decades and kicks off Monday.

Red Ribbon Week was created in honor of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was killed in Mexico in 1985.

According to the DEA, millions of people commemorate by wearing red ribbons and participating in community events.

The Omaha Field Division of the DEA covers five states, including North Dakota.

Emily Murray, the public information officer for this division, said it’s important to encourage everyone to say no to drugs.

“This is a message that needs to go out to all age groups, all ethnicities, everybody in a community basically,” said Murray.

Murray said this year the DEA is pushing a message about prescription pills.

“Don’t take a pill when you don’t know where it comes from because the message that we’re sharing right now is one pill can kill,” said Murray. “With fentanyl out there and fentanyl on the increase and these counterfeit pills on the increase, that’s the message we really wanna stress.”

She said the use of counterfeit pills is also increasing.

“Counterfeit pills are flooding the nation. They’re hitting all sorts of towns and communities, big and small,” said Murray.

The Berthold Police Department is known for big drug busts along Highway 2.

Al Schmidt, the police chief, also warns about the dangers of fentanyl.

“We got young people, and people of every age, overdosing every day and it’s a very strong drug that when just a little bit is present, can kill you,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt says it starts with education from parents.

“Know that, it’s not a healthy way to go as far as lifestyle, and there’s really no benefits for it,” said Schmidt.

He also said that parents should be aware of current drug issues and how their children may be affected.

“They like to think we’re a lot safer, and we are than a lot of areas of the country, but it’s definitely here and children are being exposed to it at younger and younger ages,” said Schmidt.

Red Ribbon Week continues through Sunday, Oct. 31.

Click here for a list of virtual Red Ribbon activities that you can participate in.

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